PRODUCT QUALITY CONTROL
The quality level of products is controlled by a system of supplier audits and evaluations in combination with logistic and laboratory (QC) inspections.
Product quality depends on a beneficial supplier selection. This is why potential Fabory suppliers are evaluated first through a sample assessment and, for heat-treated parts, an onsite audit of the production process. Approved suppliers are continuously monitored for their delivery and quality performance through a supplier performance rating (SPR), which is updated monthly.
All incoming goods are checked by the staff in the Receiving Goods Department to verify whether they match the bill of loading and labeling, including ensuring items arrive with their correct dimensions, product markings and other visual characteristics. These inspections are performed in accordance with adequate prescribed instructions. Each batch is fully traceable in the logistics system.
INSPECTION BY QC
The need for inspection by the QC department is monitored by the information system and the goods are automatically sent to the laboratory by the internal transport system. Approximately 45% of all goods receipts are inspected by the QC department, and non-European deliveries and customer-specific parts are always inspected by QC.
The QC department has been accredited 17025 by the American Association for Laboratory Accreditation (A2LA) according to ISO/IEC since 1997. Consequently, the QC department is recognized as an independent laboratory that is authorized to create product certificates. The inspections are performed according to the appropriate product criteria and in line with the standardized acceptance procedures. Specific customer requirements on quality inspections and documentation can be integrated into the inspection plans. The most important measurement results are recorded in the ERP system (SAP) and fully traceable.
If the goods meet the specifications, then they move forward to further processing. The materials handling process is controlled by the computerized Warehouse Control System. The accepted goods are placed directly in storage. Any non-conforming goods are tagged. The non-conformant batch is blocked and registered, and appropriate corrective actions are then taken.
The specific inspection plan determines the inspected characteristics, though the most common points of inspection are listed below:
- Thread tolerances
- Hardness; carburization or decarburization
- Tensile strength, proof load, torque-strength
- Surface discontinuities
- Chemical composition
- Plating thickness and corrosion resistance
- RoHS compliance.
The following testing equipment is available at the Fabory laboratory:
- Go and no-go thread ring gauges and plug gauges for metric, metric fine, UNC and UNF threads
- Digital calipers and screw thread micrometers that are suitable for metric, Unified and Whitworth threads
- Digital Tensile tester, 600 kN
- Rockwell hardness tester (HRC and HRB)
- Micro-hardness tester (HV0.1 up to HV10)
- Torque testing fixture
- Torque wrenches and wrench tester
- Penetration gauges to measure screw recesses
- Nondestructive coating thickness tester
- Cutting, grinding and polishing equipment
- Profile projector microscope
- Stereo microscope
- Metallographic microscope
- Spectrometer (chemical analyses)
- Torque/Tension fastening analyzer
- XRF analyzer for RoHS and PMI inspections
- Salt Spray Test Cabinet
A sophisticated batch management system ensures that all goods can be traced throughout the entire logistical chain from Fabory’s suppliers all the way through customer delivery. Each delivery from our central warehouse or other major warehouses is linked to a batch number. Through this number, the history file of the goods can be traced, including the purchase orders, date of delivery, inspection results and, in most cases, supplier lot number (dependent on the product type).
If applicable, the original manufacturer’s lot numbers are printed on the labels. Traceability requirements are in line with the international standards, with the French Arrêté (January 20, 1995) and American PL101.